Master Master's Degree in Urbanism Regenerating Intermediate Landscapes

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10 Months

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Master’s Degree in Urbanism Regenerating Intermediate Landscapes

School of Architecture

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Erasmus Master’s Course with European Accreditation

The Master in Regenerating Intermediate Landscapes at ESARQ-UIC in Barcelona provides a unique methodology for regenerating complex contemporary landscapes that encompasses practices from urban design to landscape architecture at a scale between neighborhood and region. It focuses on the regeneration of urban sprawl, informal settlements and the preservation of cultural landscapes in order to build a more efficient and sustainable metropolis.

Both developed and developing countries currently face a significant challenge in terms of urban design and planning: the management of emerging landscapes that have been triggered by increasing mobility and unprecedented urban growth. Standard planning cannot guarantee the efficiency and environmental quality of these new urban systems and open spaces. These landscapes, due to their size, morphology and use, question the very notion of the compact city, and, accordingly, our usual urban practices.

The regeneration of large suburban growth, shopping centers and commercial strips, or the preservation of agricultural land and river spaces, is taking place in many of our metropolitan areas. All these episodes no longer respond to local government boundaries, but to ad hoc constraints of a functional, morphological or environmental nature. For this reason, intermediate approaches are required, between a local and a regional level, in order to resolve conflicts and create opportunities.

The Master in Regenerating Intermediate Landscapes is devoted to providing the required tools and methodology to achieve this. The program is based on the traditional core values of European planning, specifically: attention paid to local identity and environmental values; and a commitment to social equity. Based on these premises, current research from international experts is incorporated into a comprehensive approach in which economics and management hold a dialogue with ecology and culture.

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Future perspectives for the Master’s program

This Master’s program contributes to the necessary methodological framework for the diagnosis, intervention and management of emerging intermediate landscapes. The regeneration of sprawl areas, the transformation of suburban thoroughfares into main streets, or the preservation of cultural landscapes, are being widely considered. This Master´s program recognizes the need to meet these challenges by training skilled technicians.

Since the eighties, mature and multidisciplinary critical responses have been consolidated in North American and European contexts, responding to various types of environmental, economic, social and cultural repercussions, generated by a demanding growth without a united overview. We can confirm that at present there are sufficient theoretical and professional grounds for offering an alternative model. Within this context, the Master in Regenerating Intermediate Landscapes aims to contribute to the construction of more efficient and sustainable metropolis.


The Masters in Regenerating Intermediate Landscapes has an academic orientation and educates students in the emerging field of urbanism and regional planning. This programme aims to achieve specialisation in an innovative disciplinary field in which the contributions of international research and direct knowledge of exemplary experiences are essential. Accordingly, this programme provides:

  1. Skilled methodological training in the regeneration of intermediate landscapes by means of their analysis, interventions, and integrated management
  2. Scientific training based on the latest prospects of international research, which contribute based on a global overview to solid focused knowledge
  3. The opportunity to have access to knowledge on detailed model initiatives related to local regeneration, through fieldwork
  4. The opportunity to consolidate a solid technical awareness in favor of: social balance, the rational use of resources, and the preservation of local identity

1st Module: Introduction

1. Conceptual framework

Theoretical framework
Main research contributions aimed at the analysis and regeneration of intermediate landscapes

Historical framework
Background and evolution of intermediate landscapes in developed and developing countries

Political framework

  1. Multiple management scales. Local government and regional governance systems (regional compacts).
  2. Bottom-up processes and the participation of citizens.
  3. Partnership and public-private cooperation

Economic framework

  1. Economic determinants of growth and sprawl. The sprawl machines.
  2. Local government revenue sources (tax revenues), land use and sprawl

Social framework

  1. Threats. Segregation and loss of social capital.
  2. Changing demographic structure. Immigration and cultural diversity.
  3. Third places: new collective social places

Environmental framework

  1. The impact of sprawl on the environment and human health.
  2. Current trends and techniques in environmental protection
2. Introduction to the study and presentation of case studies

Phenomenology and classification
Intermediate landscapes: contexts and morphologies. Identification of categories

Basic tools for case study analysis
Analytical basis for the comprehension of intermediate landscapes. Key content to be considered

Basic tools for the spatial analysis of intermediate landscapes
Introduction to field work. Identification, interpretation and representation of key content

Basic communication tools
Written and graphic presentation techniques for planning and urban design material

2nd Module: Methodology

3. Urban Materials

Mobility networks

  1. Morphological categories.  Types of road ways associated to types of development. Motorways, arterial roads, collector roads, local roads, historic roads, suburban trails.
  2. Regeneration strategies. The design of civic networks

Dispersed urban systems

  1. Morphological categories. Clusters, corridors and sprawled developments.
  2. Retrofitting strategies. Infill, redevelopment and re-greening

Open spaces in urban networks

  1. Morphological categories. Agricultural, forest, river and coastal areas.
  2. Cultural landscapes and historic parks.
  3. Regeneration strategies. Integration of local and regional systems. The social, economical and ecological role of open spaces
4. Topics


  1. Cultural heritage and regional development. Local identity: marketing and sense of place.
  2. Heritage networks and pre-urban patterns. Civic engagement and heritage network capacity.
  3. Preservation programmes


  1. Landscape ecology: integrated and sustainable management of land mosaics (natural and built-up areas).
  2. Urban ecology: sustainable criteria related to: mobility, water, waste and energy management


  1. Methods of social inquiry and tools for active participation processes.
  2. Strategies of design aimed at strengthening the local identity and sense of belonging.
  3. Rethinking the public space concept


  1. Regional mobility and transportation systems based on a comprehensive overview.
  2. Local mobility and accessibility. Design of place-based pedestrian paths


  1. Sprawl and social equity. Affordable housing and access to urban services and social facilities.
  2. Negative effects of sprawled developments on disadvantaged sectors (people with disabilities, senior citizens and children)

Public health
Sprawl and public health. Design, research and policies on healthy place-making

5. Tools

Information technologies
Geographical information systems applied to advanced analysis, design and the integrated management of intermediate landscapes

Communication technologies
Simulation systems applied to the display of regeneration scenarios. Digital development of activating images


  1. Basic microeconomics for planners. How markets function.
  2. Real estate markets (residential and commercial) and property laws.
  3. Development and speculation. Public interventions.
  4. Regional marketing

Planning framework

  1. Local and regional planning tools to propel intermediate landscape regeneration.
  2. Management on an intermediate landscape scale. Regional and municipal government agreements. Public-private partnerships.
  3. Legal framework.  Local, regional and state regulations in order to develop intermediate landscape regeneration

3rd Module: Case studies

6. Local case studies: Fieldwork

Local intermediate landscape regeneration case studies
Study of the morphological, functional, social, and political components of the case based on a comprehensive overview. Critical analysis of the existing planning and management tools

7. International case studies

Study of significant international cases studies in developed and developing countries
Political, economic, social, environmental, legal and planning framework.  Urban materials and main topics. Regeneration strategies

4th Module:  Masters dissertation

8. Masters Dissertation

Development of a regeneration proposal for an intermediate landscape. Integrated methodology involving analysis, intervention and management. Application of the intervention tools acquired during the programme in terms of decision making as part of a multiscale process. The development must express an overall strategic vision and flexible development in terms of its various stages

Professional opportunities

Potential fields of work for future graduates
  1. Multidisciplinary work groups in companies linked to intermediate landscape diagnosis, intervention and planning
  2. Municipal services in average sized or large cities. Management of urban growth, open spaces and infrastructure
  3. Regional administrations. Planning services and management of regional parks, urban areas and infrastructure
  4. Tourism and economic promotion consortiums focused on cultural landscapes
  5. Local or international nonprofit organisations linked to economic development and the preservation of cultural landscapes in developed and developing countries
  6. Private foundations devoted to the acquisition and management of land, in order to preserve its natural and cultural heritage
  7. Broad-based coalitions and civic society associations committed to the defense of landscapes and local identity, and an improvement in the living conditions of their residents
  8. The academic field
Potential professional work placements for future graduates
  1. Intermediate landscape diagnosis for sustainable development. Regional planning and management policies for open spaces, urban systems, infrastructure and social facilities
  2. Strategic marketing plans for the economic promotion of intermediate landscapes
  3. Fundraising for the pertinent resources coming from local and international programmes in order to support sustainable intermediate landscape development
  4. Consultancy for regional facilities
  5. Development of regeneration projects aimed at: (1) the reassessment of cultural landscapes; (2) the improvement of sprawl areas; (3) the preservation of peripheral open spaces; and (4) the transformation of suburban thoroughfares into main streets
  6. Teaching and research

Application for admissions

Required documentation

Applicants for the Masters programme in Regenerating Intermediate Landscapes in the UIC must present the following documents in order to take part in the selection process:

  1. A statement of interest in entering the Masters programme. It must include references to professional objectives related to the academic content of the programme. (Evaluation: 50%)
  2. A certified academic curriculum including a letter of recommendation from an academic who can account for the candidate’s academic performance. (Evaluation: 30%)
  3. Certified professional curriculum including a letter of recommendation from a professional who can account for the candidate’s professional work. (Evaluation: 20%)

The applicants will have to certify a sufficient level of oral and written English comprehension, in order to follow the lectures, complete reading assignments, and participate in class discussions.

Regulations for transfers

Information related to the regulations for transfers can be found here:

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Universitat Internacional de Catalunya

The Universitat Internacional de Catalunya offers you a highly personalised university education with a strong vocational element. This high level of personalised treatment is achieved by ensuring that there is: no more than one group per course; a maximum of 80 students per lecture, and one university professor assigned to every eleven students.

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